17
   

How do you determine something exists?

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:40 am
@Huxley,
Quote:
I do, however, wonder if some concepts correspond to reality or not -- whether they are objects, or whether they exist in some other way.


But even if what exists is not an "object" but something else, why should that mean that what is not an object exists in "some other way" from the way objects exist? After all, all objects and non-objects (whatever those are) if they exist, exist. What would be the reason for thinking they exist, "in some other way"? Indeed, I am not even sure what that would mean?

After all, elephants and snakes are also very different from each other. But who would suppose that elephant and snakes "exist in different ways"? The problem is, of course, that the phrase, "exist in different ways" has not been given any meaning.
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:48 am
@kennethamy,
To be honest, I'm still thinking about your response with respect to "following the correct procedure".

I have often said that things exist in some way, in order to differentiate between the existence of concepts, the existence of reality in "n" metaphysical backdrops (such as that posited by Descartes, or the Transcendental Idealists), and also to differentiate what might exist but can not be conceived (though, really, perhaps we can drop that since to talk about it might just be a linguistic trap -- the ability to attach the "not" operator to anything).

So, when I say something exists "as" something, I mean that it can exist in the noumenal, the phenomenal, the realm of the mind, as a physical object, as a spiritual thing, etc. etc. It's a direct response to an attempt at incorporating the validity of dualistic (and on up) philosophies, though I reject their soundness. A sort of "essentialism", I suppose. I'm not sure if there are difficulties with such a position though, I'll admit.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:55 am
@Owen phil,
Owen phil wrote:
We cannot assert that: Those numbers which are less than themselve are numbers.
That is exactly what we can assert, and according to your claim that such an assertion implies existence, we are thereby committed to the existence of such numbers. You can not hold that the assertion can not be made because such numbers dont exist, because you have defined existence by the availability of that assertion. The objection fails by circularity.
fresco
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 10:57 am
@Huxley,
My answer is from the point of view of "reality" as a social construction. All we have are concepts, i.e. nodes of inter-relationship within a semantic network conveyed by a common language. Some of those relationships are enmeshed with the concept of "materiality" and some are not. The concept "theist" and the concept "God" are enmeshed in a particular network in which a positive linkage to "material evidence" may play a role, whereas the concepts "atheist" and "God" have a negative relationship with respect to such a concept of "evidence".

So from this point of view , "existence" is about social agreement regarding relationship between concepts. There are no "things in themselves". All concepts are related. "Properties of material things" translates as "agreed expectancies of concurrent inter-relationships between "observer" and "observed". e.g. "tree-ness" implies concurrent "green and brown-ness", "hardness", "shadiness", etc with respect to common human physiology. The implication is that "trees" do not exist as such for non-humans, nor would "trees" exist without the concept of human observers to "thing" them.

Commonality of physiology and social functioning is abstracted within a common language. Language is a priori with respect "higher thinking". It is the abstract persistence of words which the thinker confuses with the persistence of "things", when in essence all is in flux (particularly " trees" !).
Asking whether X "exists" is futile, the fact that X has already been thinged (conceptualized) has already given it "existence" (relational utility) for at least one "thinger". What we do is negotiate agreement or disagreement about the utility of X. Beyond that, all we can do when X is cited is say "I don't know what you are talking about". Thus atheists who are prepared to discuss "God" at all, have already acknowledged existence of the concept (and remember concepts are all we have.)
Owen phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:01 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Owen phil wrote:
We cannot assert that: Those numbers which are less than themselve are numbers.
That is exactly what we can assert, and according to your claim that such an assertion implies existence, we are thereby committed to the existence of such numbers. You can not hold that the assertion can not be made because such numbers dont exist, because you have defined existence by the availability of that assertion. The objection fails by circularity.


Could you demonstrate that:
Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers, is true.

I don't believe you can.
Where is the assertion?

Do you also believe that: The present king of France is a king ?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:16 am
@fresco,
Asking whether X "exists" is futile, the fact that X has already been thinged (conceptualized) has already given it "existence" (relational utility) for at least one "thinger".

You think I should not say that unicorns do not exist because I already gave unicorns existence by using the term, 'unicorn"? You have a most peculiar belief in the magic of words, I have to say. Can I repeat the trick by talking of my million dollars? Hell, why stop at a million, why not a billion? I'll just say that my billion dollars does not exist and make myself a quick billion! Or does the trick not work when you become greedy? Apparently, you think that all sentences of the form, X does not exist, express false propositions. Hmmm.

"Philosophy is a constant battle against the bewitchment of the intelligence by language".
ughaibu
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:28 am
@Owen phil,
Owen phil wrote:
Could you demonstrate that:
Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers, is true.
"Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers", what is there to demonstrate? You you suggesting that they're numbers which aren't numbers?
Extrain
 
  3  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:57 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
Owen phil wrote:

ughaibu wrote:

Owen phil wrote:
That these un-named numbers are numbers, can be asserted, therefore they do exist.
Well, inaccessible cardinals which are smaller than themselves are numbers, as this can and has been asserted, I take it that your position commits you to their existence.


What? The x such that x<x, does not exist.
An x such that x<x, doesn't exist either.

There are no things which satisy 'contradictory descriptions'.
x<x, is a contradictory predication of x.
~(some x)(x<x).

We cannot assert that: Those numbers which are less than themselve are numbers.
Terms referred to by contradictory predications, do not exist.

Owen phil wrote:
Could you demonstrate that:
Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers, is true.
"Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers", what is there to demonstrate? You you suggesting that they're numbers which aren't numbers?


Owen is right. So called contradictory predications such as "Numbers which are less than themselves" are not satisfied by any logically possible (abstract) objects, for the same reason that "round square" is a contradictory predication. Purported "numbers which are less than themselves" would be logically impossible objects, so there is no good reason to think they exist.
Owen phil
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 11:58 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Owen phil wrote:
Could you demonstrate that:
Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers, is true.
"Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers", what is there to demonstrate? You you suggesting that they're numbers which aren't numbers?


I am asserting that they, those numbers which are less than themselves, are not existent things at all, certainly not numbers.

The set of those x's such that x<x, is empty. {x: x<x}={}.

The predicate x<x has no instance of truth.

0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:03 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain wrote:
Numbers which are less than themselves are logically impossible objects.
Incorrect, such numbers occur in paraconsistent set theory.
Extrain wrote:
There is no good reason to think they exist simply because you can construct a syntactically well-formed sentence involving a contradictory description...
Irrelevant, and I dont think they exist. If properties imply existence, then such numbers exist, that is a good reason to reject the claim that properties imply existence.
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:09 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Owen phil wrote:
Could you demonstrate that:
Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers, is true.
"Those numbers which are less than themselves are numbers", what is there to demonstrate? You you suggesting that they're numbers which aren't numbers?


It is, of course, a necessary truth that if there are numbers less than themselves, then those numbers are numbers, since any proposition of the form, "If p then q" where p is a tautology, is itself, a tautology, and all tautologies are necessary truths. However, I thought that what Owen is suggesting is that there are no numbers that are less then themselves. And was asking you to demonstrate that there are such numbers. Not what you said you believed he asked you to demonstrate. Namely, a tautology. I understood that as the natural meaning of what he asked. Didn't you? And I too confess that I am eager for you to try to demonstrate what Owen asked you to demonstrate, namely, that there are numbers that are less than themselves. It really won't do to say that someone asked a question he did not ask, and then say that you will not answer the question he did ask because it would be silly to try to answer the question he did not ask. That kind of thing is known as sophistry.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I too confess that I am eager for you to try to demonstrate what Owen asked you to demonstrate, namely, that there are numbers that are less than themselves.
You're in luck, read my first two or three posts on this thread.
0 Replies
 
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:13 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:
Extrain wrote:
Numbers which are less than themselves are logically impossible objects.
Incorrect, such numbers occur in paraconsistent set theory.


If this is true, then show it.

ughaibu wrote:
Extrain wrote:
There is no good reason to think they exist simply because you can construct a syntactically well-formed sentence involving a contradictory description...
Irrelevant, and I dont think they exist. If properties imply existence, then such numbers exist, that is a good reason to reject the claim that properties imply existence.



There are no such properties as numbers less than themselves. There is still very good reason to think properites implies existence.
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:40 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
such numbers occur in paraconsistent set theory.
If this is true, then show it.
I'm not your tutor, use Google.
Extrain wrote:
There are no such properties as numbers less than themselves.
Maybe not, but there are numbers with the property of being less than themselves.
Extrain wrote:
There is still very good reason to think properites implies existence.
I haven't noticed anyone give reasons, it's only been stated as a definition, as far as I'm aware.
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:43 pm
@Huxley,
Well, when I say that X exists, I mean that X exists, and not that some facsimile of X exists. A facsimile of X would be: an idea of X; the concept of X; picture of X; or a "noumenal, the phenomenal, the realm of the mind, as a physical object, as a spiritual thing" and whatever can be invented that may be like X, but still not X. A facsimile of X may, indeed, be like X in some ways, and not like X in other ways; that would, presumably depend on what the particular facsimile of X was. But one thing is sure. A facsimile of an X is not an X. Otherwise, it would not be a facsimile of X, but the real thing (like Classic Coke). So, a facsimile of X may be close....but no cigar.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:52 pm
@Huxley,
Huxley wrote:

I'm mostly asking what the process you follow is. However, if you have a proscriptive outline, then by all means feel free to share.
0 Replies
 
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 12:54 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu wrote:

Extrain wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
such numbers occur in paraconsistent set theory.
If this is true, then show it.
I'm not your tutor, use Google.


Typical "ughaibu" response...appeal to google. In any case, what makes you think paraconsistent logic is sound formal system in direct challenge to classical First-Order Logic anyway? In particular, what is wrong with inferring from A, ~A, therefore, B?

As far as I know, most logicians reject alternative logics such as paraconsistent logic, dialetheism, and "fuzzy logic," and for good reason: The Law of non-contradiction is challenged in order to accommodate seeming paradoxes. But better to stick with LNC than undermine rationality to make room for isolated cases.

ughaibu wrote:
Extrain wrote:
There are no such properties as numbers less than themselves.
Maybe not, but there are numbers with the property of being less than themselves.


huh? Again, can you tell us why you think this? Ken, Owen, and myself are still waiting for your answer.

ughaibu wrote:
Extrain wrote:
There is still very good reason to think properites implies existence.
I haven't noticed anyone give reasons, it's only been stated as a definition, as far as I'm aware.



Huh? What do you think Owen's axioms of existence are all about, that he just posted in this thread, here?:

Quote:

E!x, iff, x exists .
E!x =df (some F)(Fx).
E!x <-> (some F)(Fx).
x exists, means, there is some property that x has.

If we can assert that x has a property then we can assert that x exists.

|-. Gx -> E!x.
If x has the property G then x exists.
|-. x=x -> E!x).
If x is self identical then x exists.
|-. E!x <-> Ey(x=y).
x exists, iff, there is some y such that x is equal to it.

|-. H(the x:Gx) -> (the x:Gx) exists.
If (the x such that Gx) has the property H, then, (the x such that Gx) exists.
|-. (the x:Gx)=(the x:Gx) -> E!(the x:Gx).
If, the x such that Gx is self identical then, (the x such that Gx) exists.
|-. E!(the x: Gx) <-> Ey((the x: Gx)=y).
The x such that Gx exists, iff, there is some y such that (the x:Gx) is equal to it.

|-. G(the x:Gx & Hx) -> E!(the x:Gx).
|-. E!(the x:Gx) <-> EyAx(x=y <-> Gx).

E!(the x: x=z) <-> E!z.


Thanks, Owen!


kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 01:01 pm
@Extrain,
There are no such properties as numbers less than themselves.

Maybe not, but there are numbers with the property of being less than themselves.

Now, let's see. Maybe there is no such property as P, but something exists which has property P. Huh? Indeed!
Extrain
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 01:04 pm
@kennethamy,
Yes. Embarrassed
0 Replies
 
ughaibu
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jun, 2010 01:09 pm
@Extrain,
Extrain wrote:
what makes you think paraconsistent logic is sound formal system in direct challenge to classical First-Order Logic anyway?
Paraconsistent set theory is mathematically interesting, according to mathematicians, and allows for proofs of some things which can only be assumed in ZF. I see no reason to privilege either system. However, the point is unimportant, unless you can establish that properties imply existence for the objects mooted in ZF but not in paraconsistent set theories. Then again, why ZF? Why set theory? And there is nothing in Owen's post which constitutes a reason to suppose that properties imply existence.
 

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